Each week, SOHH asks two entertainment personalities to name their Top 5 rappers of all-time. To make things tricky, we’ve created a “Hall of Fame” of emcees (see right) who are universally respected and therefore may not be mentioned. After The Clipse’s Malice listed his favorites, today Detroit phenom Elzhi clues us into his rap elite.
Not taking away what Ice Cube does now, but at the time AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, Death Certificate and Lethal Injection [solo albums] came out, he’s definitely gotta go in the Top 5. He’s going in there as being one of the best.
I feel like half of the industry would agree that he [Andre 3000] belongs there. Andre has done things in his career that a lot of emcees wish they could do or dream of doing. I feel like a lot of them try to do what he’s done. I feel like people like Eminem or a Kanye West see how creative he is. I definitely feel like he needs to be a part of the Top 5 list.
I would definitely say Big L. He was just crazy with it. Big L came from the whole [1990’s rap group] Diggin’ In The Crates crew. He was definitely a technician with the wordplay, metaphors and he came with the tongue-twist style. I wasn’t a fan of his beat selection at the time, but he made me listen to the songs because I was such a fan and wanted to hear him rap. His lyrics were on point. So Big L’s gotta be in there.
Wu-Tang Clan. I definitely gotta give it to Wu-Tang. Everybody was incredible in Wu-Tang and they still are. They all were different. They all may have had the same kind of slang but they were all different. Method Man was kind of animated. ODB was stylish. Ghostface and Raekwon had their own thing. Inspectah Deck did his thing on the mic. That whole crew was incredible. I definitely gotta give it up to Wu-Tang.
I’m going to go with Black Thought. Legendary Roots crew. Black Thought has always been on point. I can’t ever say I heard a wack Black Thought verse. He’s incredible. Rapping with that band like that, his style is always on point. He’s one of the best lyricists in the game and he’s still doing it to perfection. So I definitely gotta give it up to Black Thought.